Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas Day today. In the morning we had a joyful celebration of the Divine Liturgy at our Church, which was fully packed.

At the end, after the reading of our Ecumenical Patriarch’s Encyclical Epistle by Fr. Anastasios, the President of our Community Mr. Pantelis Demosthenous offered his good wishes to the congregation and presented the Architect of our new Church Mr. Michael Neocleous of Papa Architects with a special honorary plaque.

Then we had in front of the congregation the Raffle Draw for the Christmas Hamper, which was prepared by Mrs. Mary Nicholaou. The Raffle had made £1020, amount offered towards the Fund-raising of our Church. The winner of the Hamper is Mrs. Koulla Karaiskou.

We wish all members and supporters of our Church and Community a Blessed Christmas. Let the Star of Bethlehem shine and lead our way towards the newly born Divine Child.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Blessed Christmas

The birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth has split history in two, so that each calendar is reckoned before or after His birth. The year in which He was born marks the period known as AD (“Anno Domini”), and the years before that as BC (“Before Christ”).

Our Lord's Nativity is observed on December 25. The early Church Fathers made the birthdate of our Lord deliberately to coincide with and offset the pagan celebration of Saturnalia, that festive pagan day of celebration in which the sun crossed the imaginary line drawn on the later-day maps as the equator.

To the pagans it signified a rebirth of the sun, now returning to the north to assert its full power and bring on the spring season; but to the Christians it marked the birthday celebration of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who had created not only the sun, but all the other stars and planets of the universe.

On December 25 the Saviour was born, and God so loved the world He had created that He sacrificed his Son thirty-three short years later for the redemption of all mankind. The star that shone over Bethlehem to light the way for the Wise Men of the East still shines as an eternal beacon in the hearts of all those who have Jesus Christ in their hearts.

We wish you all a Blessed Christmas!

With festal wishes

The Parish Priest
The Trustees
The Church Committee
The Ladies of St. Agatha Sisterhood
The Hellenic College
St. Panteleimon Nursery
And our Community’s Youth

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Jubilate Choir

Last Saturday the Jubilate Choir have very successfully performed at our Church, presenting traditional Christmas Carols, in English and Greek. Fr. Anastasios welcomed the Choir and the congregation with the following words:

Good-evening to you all and welcome to our newly build Church of St. Panteleimon and St. Paraskevi.

In the Gospel according to St. Luke, ch. 2, verses 1-7 we read:

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

3 And everyone went to his own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,

7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

This is the actual story of Christmas. This is exactly what is commemorated throughout the Christendom on the 25th December every year.

Christmas is a unique Christian festival. There is no Christianity without it. The Holy Scriptures record that “...every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God” (1 John 4, 3).

Various complimentary names have been given to this feast by the Holy Fathers. “First feast” is named by St. Epiphanius; St. Gregory of Nazianzus calls it “feast of recreation”. St. John Chrysostom declares it a “metropolis of all the feasts”.

It is natural then for all nations (the British and the Greek included) to produce hymns and carols in honour of this great festival and in praise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

This is why we are gathered here tonight in order to celebrate Christmas, to sing carols, to chant hymns and to admire the awards-winning ladies’ choir Jubilate, with all those beautiful voices of the highly talented ladies, directed by their Musical Director Sarah Stroh, who had done all the hard work of preparation, but could not be with us tonight, due to a small health problem. We wish her speedy recovery.
Wyn Highland, who will be the accompanist for tonight, will also play Sarah’s role. Many thanks to them both.

Reading through the web site of the Jubilate Choir I found with some pride that they have actually started their history from our area, Kingsbury. Then they progressed in becoming a large group, which has performed in many places and events, known for its high standard of performance, its varied repertoire, and its sense of fun.

I am sure you would allow me to offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to our dearest Helen Georgiades, as well as to her daughter Ninoska Leppard (a regular member of the Choir) who both had the original idea for tonight’s event.

Tea and coffee for the interval will be offered by Helen Georgiades and Lela Vazania, while the Choir is offering the traditional minced pies, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart, on behalf of all of us.

It is obviously known that the proceeds of this event will be shared between our newly built Church, which still owes about 1 million pounds after its recent completion, and the Choir. We are always looking to find people and companies ready to support financially our beautiful new Church to repay its loans.

My dearest friends,

Let us wish that this Christmas will be filled with spiritual joy and happiness and the main gift that we shall all receive will be Jesus Christ himself, our Saviour and our Lord!


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Tarmac on the Car Park

Works have progressed greatly in our Car Park area.

After many days of intense preparations today tarmac is being laid on the Car Park, and it really looks very impressive.

The engineers and workers are expecting to complete the works by tonight.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

December 2011

Sunday, 4th December: Feast of St. Barbara the Great Martyr

Monday, 5th December: 6.00 pm Vespers

Tuesday, 6th December: 9.30 am Matins and Divine Liturgy
.....Feast of St. Nicholas
.....6.00 pm Supplicatory Canon to St. Panteleimon
.....6.30 pm Bible Study: “St. Panteleimon in Cologne - Germany”

Thursday, 8th December: 6.00 pm Vespers

Friday, 9th December: 9.30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy
.....Feast of the Conception of Mary the Virgin by St. Anna

Saturday, 10th December: 7.00 pm A Classic Choral Christmas with English and Greek Christmas Carols

Sunday, 11th December: 5.00 pm Vespers
.....6.00 pm Christmas Dinner at Sea Pebbles Restaurant

Monday, 12th December: 9.30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy
.....Feast of St. Spyridon

Tuesday, 13th December: 6.00 pm Supplicatory Canon to St. Paraskevi
.....6.30 pm Bible Study: “Prophecies foretelling the Birth of Jesus”

Wednesday, 14th December: 6.00 pm Nativity Play at St. Panteleimon Nursery
.....6.00 pm Vespers

Thursday, 15th December: 9.30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy
.....Feast of St. Eleftherios and St. Anthia

Friday, 16th December: 7.30 pm Christmas Festival at St. Panteleimon Hellenic College

Saturday, 17th December: 11.15 am Christmas Festival at St. Panteleimon Hellenic College
.....3.15 pm Christmas Festival at St. Panteleimon Hellenic College

Sunday, 18th December: Last Day of Memorial Services
.....1.00 pm Backgammon Competition organised by the Parents of St. Panteleimon Hellenic College

Tuesday, 20th December: 6.00 pm Supplicatory Canon to Virgin Mary
.....6.30 pm Bible Study: “The icon of the Nativity of our Lord”

Friday, 23rd December: 8.00 pm Christmas Vigil
.....Feast of St. Eugenia

Saturday, 24th December: 6.00 pm Great Vespers

Sunday, 25th December: 9.30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy

Monday, 26th December: 6.00 pm Vespers

Tuesday, 27th December: 9.30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy
.....Feast of St. Stephen the Protomartyr

Saturday, 31st December: 8.00 pm New Year’s Eve Dinner & Dance

Friday, 2 December 2011

Great sunshine

The day bathed in sunshine today, although it is obviously a winter day, as the temperature is about 2 Celsius degrees.

Our parking specialists are working this morning in our Church’s Car Park.

They are smiling and happy people and they enjoy working at our Church yard.

They certainly like being photographed and they hope to complete their work soon.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Parking spaces

Works continue today in our Church’s Car Park area.

Individual parking spaces are now visibly designed and built.

This is another part of the great building and constructing craftsmanship.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Car Park progress

St. Andrew’s day today. We had a fully packed Church when we celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the morning.

At the same time works in our Church’s Car Park has progressed.

Fortunately parking is not that bad in our area; thus people coming to Church or to our Schools they can park elsewhere nearby.

We hope though to have the Car Park completed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Church Car Park

Our Church’s Car Park has been used for the last few months, although it hasn’t as yet been fully completed.

IBEX and its subcontractors are in our premises since yesterday working towards finalising the Car Park.

New lines are being designed and drawn on the surface.

The 4 first pictures are from yesterday, while the last two from today.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

AGM today

After the morning Service at our Church we had our Community’s Annual General Meeting today.

It was organised by our Community’s Committees in order to offer full reports on all our activities for the last couple of years.

Fr. Anastasios welcomed everyone and congratulated all Committees for their hard work and effectiveness.

The President of the Community Mr. Pantelis Demosthenous thanked all members and supporters of the Community who helped to build the new Church, between 2009-2011. Mr. Demosthenous, together with the Treasurer of the Community Mr. Soteris Constantinou and the Member of the Church Committee Mr. Christos Orthodoxou, answered questions by members on various issues.

The Chairman of the Parents Committee of St. Panteleimon Hellenic College Dr. Serafim Kiriakidis offered a report on the work of the College and on the acts of the Parents. He also reported on the important work of St. Panteleimon Nursery and its great financial contributions towards the fundraising of the Church.

Mrs Alexandra Constantinou reported on behalf of “St. Agatha” Ladies’ Sisterhood. She also thanked warmly the outgoing Chair-lady Mrs. Eva Christou for her many contributions over the last 20 years.

The Chairman of the Youth Dept. Mr. Panayiotis Argyrou offered his report on the Youth’s activities.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Mayor of Barnet

Cllr. Lisa Rutter, Mayor of Barnet, attended our recent Annual Dinner and Dance with members of her family.

In her kind letter of thanks to our Community she is very complimentary for the wholehearted reception we had shown them.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Honorary Alderman

One of the VIPs who attended our recent Annual Dinner and Dance was the Honorary Alderman Keith Toms, representing The Worshipful The Mayor of the London Borough of harrow Cllr. Mrinal Choudhury.

The Honorary Alderman was a very joyful person and had a really good time at our D & D. Today we received a very kind letter of thanks from him.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Videos from the D & D

Last Sunday our Community held its Annual Dinner and Dance. It was a very successful and joyful event that brought together many people, both members and friends of our Community.

The evening started with the singing of our beloved National Anthem, which all Greek participants happily sung.

Then we had food, drink and a lot of secular Greek singing, by both the musicians and the people, especially Mr. Savvas Kiriakidis.

Demetri Salapatas played very nicely a well known instrumental Greek musical piece to which some ladies danced.

The Rt. Hon. Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North, offered his nice and gentle greeting. He always speaks eloquently. This year he included in his speech a wish for our beloved homeland Greece, which is at the moment in a serious financial crisis.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Annual Dinner & Dance

Yesterday, in the evening, our Community held its Annual Dinner and Dance at our Community Hall. 170 people, both members and friends of our Community, had taken part in the event.

Archim. Theophanis Petrou represented His Eminence the Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and GB.

The Hon. Alderman Keith Toms represented the Mayor of Harrow.

The Mayor of Brent Cllr. Aslam Choudry attended with his wife.

The Mayor of Barnet Cllr. Lisa Rutter attended with her family.

The Rt. Hon. Barry Gardiner MP for Brent North, a very good friend of our Community, was also there.

The only Greek MEP for London Marina Yiannakoudakis attended with her husband.

Dr. Panayiotis Procopiou and Dr. Serafim Kiriakidis welcomed everyone on behalf of the Community Council.

Then our guests offered their greetings. Barry Gardiner MP said: «...It seems a hugely tough year for those of us who have friends and family in Greece. I have two very dear friends of mine who are Members of the Greek Parliament, who I speak with regularly. The people of Greece have been through hell this year. And if there is one wish that I have from being inside your amazing Church this evening is that the healing of Saint Panteleimon comes on the people of Greece and that their economy and their life is restored to normal».

The President of our Community Mr. Pantelis Demosthenous and Fr. Anastasios presented honorary plaques to representatives of all those companies that built our new Church.

The winning numbers of the raffle were: 90, 231, 408, 409, 611, 909, 1032, 1074, 1576, 1584, 1595, 1709, 1723, 2015, 2087, 2159, 2214, 2271, 2344, 2574, 2644.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

November 2011


Tuesday, 1st November: 9.30 am Matins, Divine Liturgy & Blessing of the new month
..........Feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damian
..........6.00 pm Supplicatory Canon to St. Panteleimon
..........6.30 pm Bible Study: “Paradise & hell according to the Orthodox Church”

Monday, 7th November: 6.00 pm Vespers

Tuesday, 8th November: 9.30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy
..........Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel & all the Heavenly Host
..........6.00 pm Vespers
..........6.30 pm Bible Study: “Orthodox Angelology”

Wednesday, 9th November: 9.30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy
..........Feast of St. Nectarius

Sunday, 13th November: 6.00 pm Annual Dinner & Dance

Tuesday, 15th November: 6.00 pm Supplicatory Canon to St. Paraskevi
..........6.30 pm Bible Study: “Blessed are the merciful”

Sunday, 20th November: 6.00 pm Vespers

Monday, 21st November: 9.30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy
..........Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple

Tuesday, 22nd November: 6.00 pm Supplicatory Canon to Virgin Mary
..........6.30 pm Bible Study: “Differences between Orthodox & R/Catholics [A’]”

Thursday, 24th November: 6.00 pm Vespers

Friday, 25th November: 9.30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy
..........Feast of St. Catherine
..........6.00 pm Vespers

Saturday, 26th November: 2.00 pm Divine Liturgy
..........Feast of St. Stylianus

Sunday, 27th November: 1.00 pm Annual General Meeting of the Community and St. Agatha Ladies Sisterhood

Tuesday, 29th November: 6.00 pm Vespers
..........6.30 pm Bible Study: “Differences between Orthodox & R/Catholics [B’]”

Wednesday, 30th November: 9.30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy
..........Feast of St. Andrew, the First - Called

Thursday, 20 October 2011

17th Symposium

Our Community organises every autumn an Annual Symposium.

We usually invite 2-3 speakers who talk on a general theme of common interest.

This year we had our 17th Symposium, dedicated to: “The Hellenic Education in the modern era”.

Fr. Anastasios and Mr. Pantelis Demosthenous offered the Community’s greetings.

His Grace Bishop Gregorios of Mesaoria (Church of Cyprus) was the first speaker.

He talked on: “The pastoral work of the Church in Education and especially in the time of modern technology and internet”.

Then Mr. Savvas Pavlides, who is in charge of the Cyprus Educational Mission in Great Britain, talked on: “The Hellenic Community Education in the United Kingdom”.

The teacher Mrs. Nicky Andreou talked also on: “The material of the programme «Education for Greeks Abroad»”.

Dr. Serafim Kiriakidis was on the chair of the Symposium.

After the talks there was a lively discussion and many people expressed their views on the matter.

Then all participants were invited to dinner offered by our Community at the Community Hall.